Christmas Recycling - Happy Holiday Wreath

Posted on December 23, 2015 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)

A quick trip to my local church charity shop  to find some inspiration and a few last minute ornaments instead scored me a bag full of copper wire scouring pads. Wow, what a find - but once I got home I realized that I had nothing I could use these to clean - all my pots and pans require gentle hand washing and I couldn't possible use them to clean my Pyrex glass baking and serving dishes. So, of course, I made a wreath.  While watching my favourite Scrooge DVD, I unravelled some of the pads - not as simple as I thought but I persevered and had a bundle of copper wire ready for wreath making. Did you know that these are actually knitted together?

I wish all a Happy Christmas and an amazing and eco-friendly New Year.

Christmas Wreaths - Alternative Styles

Posted on October 22, 2015 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Some of you no doubt prefer to find alternative ways to create your own style of wreath so I looked for some non-traditional ones and found a few you might enjoy. No pine or spruce boughs to gather up, not an ornament in sight. Instead these wreaths can be made by items you've got stored away in the garage or in your drawers. Buttons, old paintbrushes, expired tree lights, even old socks. Let these wreath ideas inspire you to use what you've already got.

Button Wreath

The one above was a photo sent to me by a member. It's appears to be made of buttons and knitted strings of wool or jute over a twig wreath form. Nice way to use up some knitting yarn and reuse old buttons.

Expired Christmas Tree Light Wreath

No -  this one won't light up your life, but once the bulbs have long expired, put them to use by gluing them on to a wreath form (or even a cardboard cut into a wreath form) and string it up. this one was created by Brian Patrick Flynn for HGTV.

Paintbrush Wreath

Now this is what I call upcycling! If you've got a bunch of old paintbrushes stuck away in the back of a shelf in the garage or basement, why not bring the used brushes out of the dark to freshen up a garage door or a fence - or even your front door, it you are so inclined. This wreath comes from Anthropologie via Pamela Holderman. The red ribbon is a nice added touch.

Tartan Socks Wreath

I really like this wreath and since I do own a few tartan socks, just might get them out of the sock drawer and onto my front door. Desiree over at The 36th Avenue blog created this one and has a tutorial to show you how to make your own. She goes on to decorate the wreath with black and white embellishments and little plastic trees, but I prefer it simple with no additional decoration required.

Christmas Foraging - Into the Woods We Go ...

Posted on October 18, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I was running around this morning finishing up a few errands when it started to snow. I noticed a fellow across the street from me glance up at the sky and stretch his hand out to catch some snowflakes. We looked at each other and both of us grinned in delight. First snow has that effect. It didn't last, of course; after all, it's only mid-October but it will come and, I'm keeping my figures crossed for piles and piles of this white stuff, especially at Christmas. 

One of the nicest memories that I always associate with Christmas is the scent of evergreen. I can't have a live Christmas tree in my flat as fire regulations and the fact that some people, after the holidays, toss their trees over their balconies to the street below, prohibit the real thing. However, I always have at least one real wreath - one I make myself or buy at the farmer's market.

Heading out into the woods is probably not a reality for most of us but if you can, gather up the kids, the family pet (if you have one), a few baskets or boxes, and get foraging. Let the kids decide what they would like to bring home and be sure that you don't harm any trees or other plants - just pick up what you find on the ground. Once you get home, remember to spread out your finds outside for an hour or two so that any residents inside the finds you brought home have time to scurry out and find new homes!

Below are a few ideas for DIY wreaths that I found online. Some of the things you will need to collect are fresh branches such as willow or grapevine, oak leaves, cones, and evergreen clippings. So get out there and forage.

Bambi Wreath / La Couronne de Noel de Bambi

The gals over at Oui Oui Oui Studio created this kid-friendly wreath with holly branches, oak leaves, tea lights and, of course, a little Bambi toy figure and some white balls. You can easily forage and find oak leaves and willow branches which are flexible enough for the kids to shape into a wreath. If you have any spare round (plastic) Christmas tree ornaments (ping pong balls would also work), get the kids to paint these white. The tea lights are battery-powered so this wreath can easily be one for the children's room.

A Foraged Wreath

This wreath is from a photo shoot at The Marion House. It was one of several wreaths made by Sarah Nixon of My Luscious Backyard for a Chatelaine magazine 2014 article. I liked this one in particular for its simplicity. It looks a bit like the Bambi wreath and everything on it can be foraged from the woods, your backyard, or a local nature park. I pick up a lot of stuff along the Rideau Canal which is close to where I live. I often find acorns, pine cones, twigs and even some evergreen boughs along the path. Of course, it's considered illegal to pick this stuff up but let's that be our secret!

A Traditional Wreath

A simple traditional DIY wreath made using spruce clippings. It's from a posting on Once Wed by photography Laura Murray. Under materials she lists a metal wreath form but as I'm encouraging you to forage, collect some fresh thin branches and wire these together instead to use as the base for your wreath (or you could recycle a wire clothes hanger). Using the branches means you can skip the floral tape, too. Just wire the spruce clippings and cones to the branch base. And skip the glue gun. Oh dear, I think I just completely redid the instructions. Oh, well - frugal me.

DIY Seasonal Wreath

My very favourite wreath is from Treasures and Travels. If I had the wall space, this would be up in a flash. It reminds me of one Christmas when my family and I were driving through Pennsylvania when I spotted a huge rusted barb wire wreath on the side of an old red barn. It's sheer size and simplicity blew me away. Ever since then, I have lusted for a similar (somewhat smaller) one for my home. Somethings, I do believe, are better, bigger.

But I digress. For this beautiful wreath you'll need flexible branches or woody vines (grapevines or whatever is growing in your neighbourhood). If you don't have vines covering your home and a neighbour does, what are you waiting for? 

Yummy Saffron and Cinnamon Wreath

Another traditional spruce wreath posted on a foodie blog and it's owner, Linda, at Call Me Cupcake offers you not only this yummy smelling saffron and cinnamon spruce wreath but an lovely edible saffron bun wreath as well. She jumps around a bit from the real wreath to the bun wreath but it's easy to see how she makes both.

Christmas Holiday Wreaths 2015

Posted on October 13, 2015 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

This post has little to do with upcycling or recycling. It's simply a chance for me to show you two wreaths that have inspired me. I hope you enjoy both.

I've loved these two Christmas holiday wreaths that I found in an old Country Living magazine. Don't know the date but it's way back. The one with the spray of baby's breath inspired me to try to make one similar but it certainly isn't as spectacular. I think the detail which makes this baby's breath wreath so wonderful is its size. Sometimes bigger is better.

The rose wreath is breathtakingly gorgeous! Probably expensive to make but if you've got a garden full of roses - why not try it? Imagine how fragrant your home would be with this in the hallway or over a mantel!

Next post, I promise more thrifty wreath ideas.

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